American Family Children's Hospital

This Month in Sports Rehabilitation: Cross-country Skiing (February 2011)

Contact Information

(608) 263-4765



Sign Up to Receive Our Sports Rehab Updates

Winter in Wisconsin can be much more pleasurable if you get outside, and an ideal recreational and competitive sport with a low incidence of injury is cross-country skiing.


There are two main styles of cross-country skiing: the classic diagonal stride and skating.


Classic skiing involves a forward glide. As the leg of one side glides forward, the arm on that side pushes into extension, with the pole to assist push off.


Skating techniques include the V1, V2 and double poling.

  • The V1 technique is skating with polling over the power leg side during the ski cycle. This technique is often used for hill climbing.
  • The V2 technique involves polling on both sides during one ski cycle. This technique is often used on level ground.
  • Double polling allows you to initiate momentum during ski racing. You pole at a rapid pace, flexing your trunk forward and gliding with your feet.

The UW Health Sports Rehabilitation evaluates and treats injuries that occur from falling in cross-country skiing as well as those that occur from training and technique errors. Common injuries include knee sprains, Achilles tendinopathy and shin pain. To request an appointment, please call (608) 263-4765.



  • Butcher JD, Brannen, SJ. Comparison of Injuries in Classic and Skating Nordic Ski Techniques. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 1998; 8 (2): 88-91.
  • Renstrom P, Johnson. Cross Country Skiing Injuries and Biomechanics. Sports Med. 1989 Dec; 6:346-370.
  • Ristolainen L. et al. Type of Sport is Related to Injury Profile: A Study on Cross Country Skiers, Swimmers, Long Distance Runners, and Soccer Players. A Retrospective 12 Month Study. Scand. J. Med. Sci Sports. 2010; 20:384-393.
  • Smith, GA. Biomechanical Analysis of Cross Country Skiing Techniques. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1992 Sep;24(9):1015-1022.
  • Stoogl, TL, Muller, E. Kinematic Determinants and Physiological Response of Cross Country Skiing at Maximal Speed. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2009 Jul; 41(7): 1476-1487.
  • Stoogl, TL et al. Double-Push Skating Versus V2 and V1 Skating on Uphill Terrain in Cross Country Skiing. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010 Jan; 42(1):187-196.